Head to the Dordogne after your flight to France for beautiful 12th-century villages, ancient chateaux, lush, green forests babbling with streams and hidden ponds, comfortable accommodation and, of course, the wonderful food and wine. It's no wonder that it has been a favourite with UK holiday makers for generations.
This is the gastronomic heart of France, where some of its most heavenly foods come from - truffles, foie gras and the goose fat that turns roast potatoes into the last word in deliciousness. The wines of this region need to stand up to this traditional fare - and they do. On the wine list should be a strong, jammy red, while Monbazillac, a wine with the sweetness and colour of honey, is often served with foie gras.
To work it all off, head to the Dordogne river for a spot of rafting. The river is navigable between Correze and Bordeaux on France's Atlantic coast. Spending a night camping on the banks of the river, under the twinkling stars, is holiday gold.
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- See primitive cave paintings at Lascaux. The originals were damaged by visitors so replicas of two of the caves have been made at Lascaux 2. Still worth a visit to see the vibrancy and power of the work of our cave ancestors.
- Canoe in the Dordogne, Dronne or Vezere rivers. The canoe company will take you by minibus to the drop off point and you go back to the start (and your car). Go with the flow of the river. Have a picnic and make a day of it.
- Visit the market at Riberac on a Tuesday and Friday. In the summer you can often find night markets (marches nocturne) so you can buy, drink and listen to music in the encroaching darkness.
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